Finnegan exits early with shoulder strain

Club unsure of how long Cincinnati left-hander may be out

Finnegan exits early with shoulder strain

CINCINNATI -- Brandon Finnegan clearly didn't have it in Saturday's start for the Reds against the Brewers. Finnegan lasted only one inning, walked three batters and threw 26 pitches, 16 for balls. The Reds' bullpen followed up with eight innings to get the 7-5 win over Milwaukee.

Later, it was revealed that Finnegan was diagnosed with a strained left shoulder. It was not immediately known how much time he might miss because of the injury.

"He had a little bit of a sensation after his last start and it seemed like everything was fine," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He did all his throwing progressions, threw his side, we couldn't create any soreness. [He] looked good to go. And then it popped back up in the first inning. It's a shoulder strain, so he won't be making his next start."

After he walked his first two batters of the game on nine pitches, Finnegan later gave up a two-out, two-run double to Hernan Perez in the top of the first inning.

Finnegan, who reached 96 mph two starts ago, was averaging 90.1 mph on Saturday and topped out at 92 mph according to Statcast™.

"I couldn't throw the ball anywhere I wanted to," Finnegan said. "I just didn't have it. I just wanted to battle. We definitely needed it from one of our starters.

"I wanted to go out there and continue to do well, but could only last one inning. Bryan said he didn't want me to go any longer, he didn't want to make anything worse. That's why he took me out."

Finnegan wasn't concerned that he might have a more serious injury.

"I talked to Doc and he said it's nothing serious, nothing to be concerned about. I just need to keep working on it and get it better," Finnegan said. "I've never dealt with any arm problems at all. It's definitely new to me. I just want to get back."

Starting Monday, when Finnegan lasted only two-plus innings with 69 pitches, the Reds' bullpen has had to carry heavy workload. Rookie Davis lasted three innings before an injury on Wednesday and Scott Feldman pitched five innings on Friday before Finnegan went down on Saturday.

This season, the Reds' rotation has worked 55 1/3 innings while the bullpen has logged 51 2/3 innings.

"You do whatever you can. The starting pitching has to take on a bigger workload. There's nothing we can do about that. That's the environment we're in," Price said. "There was no way to avoid this one because it was one inning and a shoulder strain. Certainly eight innings of bullpen work doesn't set us up very well for [Sunday]."

The Reds will call up Sal Romano from Triple-A Louisville to start Sunday in Davis' place. Don't be surprised if a reliever joins him to give the bullpen a fresh arm.

"It's certainly an internal conversation at this point in time," Price said. "It will kind of depend on what we do with Finnegan, I imagine. We'll see if that creates a spot if we go that way."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.